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The tragedy of World War I is redefined in bawdy music-hall terms, presented as the "new attraction" at the Brighton Amusement Pier, complete with syrupy cheer-up songs, shooting galleries, free prizes and a scoreboard toting up the dead The Story focuses mainly on the members of one family (last name Smith) whose five sons enlist and end up as cannon fodder.
Much of the action in the
movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers, and many
scenes portray some of the more famous (and infamous) incidents of the war,
including: the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand the Christmas meeting between
British and German soldiers in no-mans-land the wiping out by their own side of
a force of Irish soldiers The final image is a veddy proper British picnic on a
graveyard. Of the many fleeting satiric images parading past the camera, one of
the most indelible is the sight of several generals playing leapfrog as the
world all around them goes to hell in a handbasket.
Directors commentary, 3-part documentary: Welcome To World War One/The Smith Family Album/Keep The Home Fires Burning
Main Language: English